So the past few days, instead of reading, I’ve delved once again into wargaming.
A few days ago “War in the East” was released, which should be a wargamer dream coming true and probably the best computer simulation ever created. It’s quite expensive but it’s THE wargame. World War II and the signature German-Soviet war. Whose scale is only surpassed by “War in the Pacific”, a game done by the same company and with a long history. Here’s the counter density from the middle of the main campaign.
But while looking for the most “epic” wargame ever created I’ve also found out that there is a series of boardgames called “Operational Combat Series” (OCS) that are fully simulated on PC through an open source program called Vassal, and also reputed to be the best operational system available. This program, on its own, just gives you the map and counters to play, but on the site’s publisher there are free downloads for all the rulebooks manuals and scenarios. Meaning that if you’re crazy enough you have all that is needed to *play* on PC.
As far as boardgames go probably the most insanely epic is the Europa series (especially the well known combo of Fire in the East + Scorched Earth, that together form the whole German-Soviet campaign from 1941 to 45 and that War in the East tries to simulate on PC), that can be assembled together to form something that won’t fit in any room. Though this one isn’t available in Vassal.
There’s instead an OCS module that is quite a monster (along with DAK2, in the same series) and comes with the union of Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II + Case Blue, that in Vassal are available as one module (older link) (increase the module cache in Vassal to 1.5 Gb and disable high quality scaling or you won’t be able to load counters at all…). Here’s a snapshot of the full map.
The scale of this monster is twice as much (but at the expense of scope, since this cover just an historical year) as the PC game “War in the East”, and for fun I’ve taken a couple screenshots to compare them on the same scenarios (I wanted to put TOAW’s FitE in too, but I don’t think there’s a way to start at a similar point).